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sportscarpros Baby You Can Drive My Car

What we drive, where we drive, why we drive and other observations
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Lizett Bond on what to drive to get groceries: Aston Martin DB 9

Name a car that you would not expect to see in a small town in Idaho?   A Porsche?  Naw, they’re everywhere.  A Mercedes Benz?  Been there, leased that …hmmmm…how about an Aston Martin DB9.  Oh yeah, now there is a ride that is your average small town daily driver. Perhaps if you live in Newport Beach.

The Wolfking of Oreille
Recently I had an invite from my friend, George Soetje, to visit his new lake house. Located right on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho, one of the most scenic spots in northwest. Sure, I was up for a trip. George is an interesting character. A serious real estate magnet, living a dream that few achieve, a beautiful log home with a vacation home on a lake just a few minutes from said domicile. George’s main passion is his wolves; in fact he has a compound that encompasses several acres specifically for his wolves. As I was to learn firsthand, they are beautiful, mystical animals.

Aside from his wolves and a wide variety of other interests, George loves cars. Besides the mandatory pickup truck, his garage contains a Porsche 911, an immaculate Acura NSX and the aforementioned “run to the market” Aston Martin DB9.

So upon my arrival from the Spokane airport in the cheapest shoebox rental that I could find online, a car I had planned to do my entire running around in, what to my wondering eyes did appear? A shiny blue mist Aston Martin DB9 and a red NSX… I had arrived at my destination.

George is the consummate host…..dinner on the lake, lots of local history.  But where he excels is in making sure the “wheels” match the experience.   Now, I mostly drive a pickup, (or anything else SCP can dig up for me), and that’s a pretty unremarkable ride so I’m not used to getting much attention as far as said ride goes but I loved the effect that parking the DB9 on the main street in Sandpointe, Idaho had on the passing traffic. Honking, people stopping to take pictures in front of the car, people wanting to chat about the car. Did I ever feel special…of course, it wasn’t about me at all but rather about the extremely cool Aston Martin.

First drive up, then drive down…
After a short shopping spree in Sandpointe, home of the main store for Coldwater Creek, we headed up the mountain in the Aston and the NSX. Our destination was a trendy ski resort village at the top of Schweitzer Mountain.   Lots of steep, windy, mountainous driving on a fabulous fall afternoon. It was decided that I would drive up the mountain in the DB9 and then later on, down in the NSX. My first impression, upon settling into the seat of the DB9 was that I was sitting in an extremely luxurious sports touring car.   Beautifully appointed dash and interior, I felt as if I was sitting LOW, very British…. I am not an “up against the rev limiter” type of driver. In fact, a lot of my friends hate to drive with me. I’m too slow, too conservative but I that comes down to the vehicles I have driven for the past twenty years. The MGB/GT, Triumph TR 250 and BMW’s of my youth gave way to SUV’s and trucks. Clearly a change was needed.

My time in the Aston DB9 was just the jolt I needed to awaken the senses that had been misplaced.

The other Liz…
The DB9 just hugged the road and made me feel very sporty and daring indeed. Up I went, feeling a bit like Liz Halliday (or in my own little Walter Mitty dreamworld).  No need to brake at every corner, no need, really, to even slow down…and no”
ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa”….instead I was insulated from reality, just the wonderful sound of the big six liter V12…. free to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Idaho mountains when I had the time to look at it, feeling as if I was in my own automotive television commercial…all I needed was the blast of a musical jingle or voiceover.   What was not to like about my Aston Martin experience?   Only one complaint…I wanted the six-speed manual!   I didn’t want to push buttons, or pull paddles….in order to have the “full on” British high end sports car driving experience I wanted to shift and downshift, push in the clutch, let it out and fly! The DB9 has tremendous torque and the balance is the best I have ever felt in a car of this size.

A price to pay…
I drove the NSX back down from Schweitzer, the manual transmission well suited but it was anticlimactic, after the DB9 almost anything would be ….no one wanted to chat with me then, or take my picture, or honk and wave.  So I suppose it’s a trade off. You have to suffer the automatic to be beautiful, so for the next few days suffering became a way of life.

                                                                                        Lizett Bond
                                                                       June 2007